Back after a break - since last week would have been "all trade chatter, all the time" - with what feels like a particularly eclectic grab-bag of bits and pieces this week You can start with the video above, an interview Ryan Roberts did with MLB Network, including footage of him adding to his estimated 300 tattoos.
- [AZCental] Diamondbacks reach agreement with Takashi Saito - Just confirming what we know. "Takashi brings a great veteran presence to our bullpen and strengthens an area where we already feel very good about our options," Towers said in a team release. "He has closed, been a set-up man and is versatile enough to fill any role."
- [dbacks.com] D-backs brighten children's holidays at Winter Classic Party - Also lending a helping hand were Arizona players [[Paul Goldschmidt,] Willie Bloomquist, J.J. Putz, Stephen Drew, Ryan Roberts and Barry Enright. Kendrick and Hall were also hands-on at Chase Field on Wednesday. "To see the reaction to a new pair of shoes when the little kids get them is very special," Roberts said. "I'm just honored to be a part of it, really."
- [Biz of Baseball] DBacks Borrow, MLB Network Grows - BoB reports on a subscription-only link which says "the Diamondbacks secured $140 million of financing, including refinancing, which should save $12 million because, "The original bonds carried a rate of nearly 7 percent; the new, five-year financing charges the team 3 percent."
- The MLB Network revealed their top 40 Breakout Performers of 2011. Here's #1:
- The GIBBYs. As AZDBACKR noted, there were winners for Arizona in the 2011 GIBBYs as well. Kennedy took home Breakout Player there as well, Kirk Gibson won Manager of the Year, and an act of generosity by a young Arizona supporter won Fan Moment.
- [Hardball Times] Who won the Trevor Cahill deal? - In summary, "This trade seems to work for both teams in a number of ways."
- [ArizonaSports.com] Is new Diamondback Cahill a Webb clone? - "We throw similar," Cahill told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo. "Mostly sinkers with a changeup, a breaking ball just to keep them off balance."
- Jarrod Parker is auctioning off another pair of autographed cleats for charity. But Justin Upton has now added a pair of his cleats too. Very cool. Just a couple of hours left to bid...
"Not majors", for want of a better term...
- [Big League Stew]] John McCain jokes about Ryan Braun’s positive drug test - Can't possibly have a politician with a sense of humor, can we?
- [tallahassee.com] Workouts, diet crucial to player progress - D-backs prospect Bryan Henry discusses training. "Playing an entire minor-league season with a hernia last year was challenging. I was unable to lift weights consistently and 150 games in the Southern League heat and humidity can melt weight and muscle from your frame. I dropped 15 or so pounds from April through September."
- [milb.com] History crucial as teams look to future - "One of its primary appeals will be the deep-rooted historical connection that exists between the franchise and the community in which it operates." The Visalia Rawhide have been particularly active on this front.
Spinning the Wheel O' Saunders.
Round and round and round he goes, where Joe stops, nobody knows! The Diamondbacks' decision to non-tender Saunders has led to a torrent of rumors and rumors of rumors. Take your pick from the selection of potential candidates for his services. Even if Arizona appear to have given up on re-signing him, doesn't seem like he'll be unemployed in 2012, but it will be interesting to see where he goes and how much he gets.
- Washington - "Don't expect the fact that Saunders is a native of Falls Church to help the Nats much"
- Detroit - "He also pitches well against the A.L Central too, with really solid to good performances against all but Minnesota." Or perhaps not
- Chicago Cubs - "Saunders is available, and the Cubs should sign him."
- Cincinnati - "The Reds have contacted agents for left-hander Joe Saunders and infielder Ryan Theriot."
- Boston - The Red Sox "continue pursuit of non-tendered free agent Joe Saunders"